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Parks & Rec News

MAIN OFFICE PHONE:  (540) 375-3057|HOURS:  M-F 8am-5pm
MAIN OFFICE LOCATION:  620 Florida Street, Salem, VA 24153

Published on Thursday, December 3, 2020

Parade Cancelled and Tree Lighting Postponed

The reimagined Salem Christmas Parade, which is traditionally held on Main Street and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Salem, was supposed to take place at the Salem Civic Center parking lot this Friday night in a safe and socially distant manner. Unfortunately, the ominous forecast of a cold and persistent rain on Friday night has forced the parade’s cancellation.

“The members of the Kiwanis Club and city workers from a number of departments have worked tirelessly to create this alternative parade and keep folks safe,” says Jim Paxton, Salem Kiwanis Club President-elect and Parade Committee Head. “The one thing we cannot control is the weather, so we made a unified decision to cancel it in the best interest of the participants and attendees. The Kiwanis Club appreciates everyone who tried his or her best to make this a success.”

While the parade will not be rescheduled, Salem’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting has been moved from Friday night at 6 p.m. to Saturday, December 5, at 5 p.m. at the Salem Farmers Market. This event will be shown on Facebook LIVE Saturday evening, as well.

“We hate that the parade had to be cancelled, but Salem still has many great holiday events lined up in the coming weeks,” says  John Shaner, Salem Parks and Recreation Director. “We hope families will take time to enjoy these in a safe manner and appreciate what we have to offer.”

Winter WonderLot Christmas Parade             Dec. 4 CANCELLED    Salem Civic Center
Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 5 5 p.m.   Facebook LIVE at Farmers Market
Gingerbread Festival Dec. 5 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.               Salem Museum   
Pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus Dec. 5  1 p.m. - 5 p.m.                 Salem Civic Center Annex
Pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus           Dec. 6  1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Salem Civic Center Annex
Salem Crafty Christmas Dec. 12 8 a.m. - Noon Salem Farmers Market
Salem Holiday Market Dec. 12 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Salem Civic Center


Lighting of the City of Salem Christmas Tree – December 5

Come join us for the Annual Lighting of the City of Salem Christmas Tree on Saturday, December 5, at 5 p.m. at the Salem Farmers Market. You also are encouraged to watch the event on Facebook LIVE on the Salem Parks and Recreation Department’s page. This tradition will kick-off the holiday season.

Gingerbread Festival at Salem Museum – December 5

The Salem Parks and Recreation Department and the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce present this year’s Gingerbread Festival at the Salem Museum on Saturday, December 5, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Check out the incredible culinary creations and the Christmas Train. Masks are required inside the Salem Museum. Get more info on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Registration is required to visit with Santa.

Socially Distant Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus – December 5 & 6   

Santa and Mrs. Claus are headed to the Salem Civic Center to spread some safe holiday cheer in early December. The world-famous Christmas Couple will be in Salem December 5 and 6 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. each day to take socially distant photos with you and your family members for only $10. The back annex of the complex allows for vehicles to safely enter one side and exit the other while remaining completely protected by the weather. All current COVID-19 Protocols will be followed, and children will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap. Children will be seated on a bench in front of the Christmas Royalty. The bench will be sanitized between each family group photo. Masks are required until the photos are taken, at which time, the children can take their masks off. Photos will be made available for download between December 6 and 10, so you can share them on social media and print for your personal use. Parents and guardians will be allowed to take their own photos, as well. For further information please visit

Salem Crafty Christmas at Farmers Market – December 12

The Salem Farmers Market and the Salem Parks and Recreation Department are bringing back a “Salem Crafty Christmas” on Saturday, December 12 from 8 a.m. - noon.  This event will take place at the Salem Farmers Market and feature handmade crafts, artisan items, greenery, baked goods, cheeses, eggs and many more items for your holiday shopping. All patrons are asked to adhere to the Market’s posted rules for COVID-19.

Salem Holiday Market at Salem Civic Center – December 12

Enjoy a great shopping adventure on Saturday, December 12, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center.  Unique crafters, Artists, and Direct Sales vendors will have just what you need for the perfect gift. This is a FREE event but please bring a non-perishable food item for the Salem-Roanoke County Food Pantry.

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